Education News

Your calls drove two GOP senators to break with party and Trump, oppose DeVos

Take Action ›

Call 855-882-6229 to tell your senators to vote NO on Betsy DeVos

By Amanda Litvinov

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee voted this week—12-11 along party lines—to advance the nomination of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education to the full Senate.

But earlier today Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced that they will vote against DeVos’s confirmation, citing concerns about her record and her basic understanding of public schools.

Educators have led the call to reject DeVos, articulating the potential threats her privatization agenda poses to students across the country. Senators have received more than 1 million emails and 50,000 phone calls opposing DeVos’s nomination. Clearly, some are listening.

You can help keep the pressure on. Pick up the phone today. Call 855-882-6229 to tell your senators to vote NO on Betsy DeVos!

Here are some of the reasons that educators are fighting against the Trump-DeVos agenda, in their own words:

I’ve taught since 1982 in a poor county, where 50 percent of students receive free lunch. We have one middle school and one high school, and an uncertified private school in our county. School choice? There is no choice here, or in thousands of rural counties. The public schools educate every child and while not every child goes on to college, those who do go do exceptionally well. We must be concerned with the welfare of all children, not just a few.

–Barbara Wilson, teacher, Virginia


I teach at a diverse special education preschool and worry about the future for my three, four, and five year olds. Research shows that early intervention works, and I have seen this first hand in my 26 years of teaching. Special education has never been fully funded, and I fear unqualified Betsy DeVos is out to weaken our public schools further and perhaps destroy them. Her agenda is clear: channel taxpayer dollars to unregulated religious private and for profit charter schools and destroy the remaining working class teacher unions. The problem with the “choice” reform is that it is exclusive, it does not include ALL children. ALL of our children need a free appropriate public education!

–Suzanne Hall-Witney, teacher, California


If the goal is to dismantle not only the reality but the entire premise of public education, then privatization is the best way to accomplish that. Once public education is gone, then who will get educated? Only those who our leaders deem worthy. That will be the end of our democratic republic, which may be the goal of privatization champions.

–Cathy Royce, retired teacher, Colorado


Nearly 90 percent of U.S. students attend public schools, and the Secretary of Education needs to be supportive of public education.  We welcome everyone into our classrooms, whether they are rich, poor, gifted, or special needs, and regardless of their family background.  When for-profit charter schools take money from already underfunded public schools, our students suffer.  Their schools can’t afford textbooks, computers, or desks.  Teachers lose their jobs, making the teacher-student ratio rise for students who need more attention, not less.

DeVos clearly does not understand what is needed to support public schools. Instead she would tear them down.

–Carol Crisp, special education teacher, Tennessee


I am a long-time Republican, and I have been in public education for 20 years. My students come from all different backgrounds–some rich, some poor, and many cultures. It should be our country’s paramount duty to continue educating children via public education. Vouchers and charter schools are not the answer, as they take away public education dollars. Why hurt the many to benefit just a few? With increased state funding and federal dollars used to fund well-researched programs, we can benefit ALL children in the public school system.

–Michelle Houle, teacher, Washington

20 responses to “Your calls drove two GOP senators to break with party and Trump, oppose DeVos

  1. What we should be paying attention to is ‘WHY DeVos?’. It appears to be a deceptive power-grab to indoctrinate our youngest and most impressionable generation. First by systematically dismantling our current education system, then replacing it with the evangelical Christian dogma currently found in private religious and home schools…making this extreme form of Christian education mainstream. This is how Pence and his ilk plan to fulfill a mission to ‘deliver America unto Christ’. She’s dangerous and must be stopped.

  2. What a ridiculous headline, maybe the senators are doing what their constituents want and what is right, not driven to do something!

  3. Thank you, Senator Collins and Senator Murkowskie. How can anyone in good conscience can other senators support this DeVos nomination? And I am a registered Republican, but am mortified at what her inexperience, personal agenda, and biases will do for the education of America’s children.

  4. Please, do NOT vote for Betty Devos as she knows little about public education!!!
    I do not know why any one could cast a positive vote for her. We have a wonderful public school system in the United States! The voucher system is not good! Charter schools have done so poorly resulting in very low tests scores, etc.

    After spending 47 years in education: 27 in wonderful public schools and 20 at two state universities, I know how well our schools are doing!


    Thank you,

    Ed Kempers

  5. So proud of my senator, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, for doing the right thing for students and teachers in America’s public school system. Also thanks to Sen. Murkowskie. Stay strong!

  6. Thank you for not being a Trump puppet and bobble-head like your colleagues. Stand firm. Betsy will harm public education and not improve the outcome for our children. They deserve someone who will be their champion.

  7. Betsy DeVos is unqualified to to be Secretary of Education, as she is the product of private schools, and endorses charter school education. Will those who cannot attend charter schools, receive same education and opportunities as those who attend public schools???…I DO NOT THINK SO…. so much for helping those who are NOT of the higher class!

  8. I work in the public school system and find that many of the students don’t care about their education particularly in the middle school. They are lazy and disfunctional students with parents who care often even less than their children with minimal control over their children. Make the parents pay for education maybe they would take a stronger interest in their child’s education and a stricter approach to their disciplinary parenting skills. The classroom often is a replication of a zoo field trip and that is even an insult to the zoo animals they are relatively well behaved. No respect no manners and no drive to learn.

  9. Why isn’t the NEA planning a nationwide teacher sick day or a one day strick in protest of this disasterous presidential nomination? The institution of public education is at risk for demise, hundreds of educator jobs are at risk and our country’s future and economic security are at risk. Where is the nationwide planned action? Protests ARE working.

  10. Thank you to the GOP senators who are acting in the best interest of our children rather than merely voting along political lines. It is a true demonstration of character to do the right thing even when it means going against the political establishment.

  11. This is by far the worst choice for our kids and grandkids!! Mrs. Betsy DEVOS is unqualified! Read her record …………………….”.do your homework for the children!!
    Please NO On BETSY DEVOS,!!!!

  12. I am appalled that Betsy Devos is being considered for the position of Secretary of Education. As a former teacher, who needed to be “highly qualified”, I do not find Mrs. DeVos’s experience to qualify her for any position in the Education Department. She is ruining Michigan education and has no real understanding or experience in education. Please vote no!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *